How did you react to Sonic dying in Sonic 06? Any emotion at all, or indifference?
I want to say that I actually laughed out loud but I honestly don’t actually remember. It was one of those things you knew was coming, because everybody had spoiled it the day beforehand or even two days beforehand (this was launch week, remember), so you were just kind of waiting to see how it actually happened.
In the original tech demo trailer, it was probably supposed to be symbolic; with nowhere left to run, Sonic the Hedgehog dies and is reborn better than ever, ready to tackle any challenge. I always likened it to Perfect Chaos - when I first saw the footage for Perfect Chaos bursting out of that building, it was incredibly impressive. It grabbed your attention and made you take notice.
That first Sonic 06 trailer was the first thing that impressed me like that since Perfect Chaos. It was daring! Bold! They killed Sonic! Stakes raised! All bets were off!
And how does it happen in-game? A character best described as “Shadow but more evil and cool (as defined by a 13 year old)” sneaks up behind him and shoots him with some kind of energy beam… thing? And he falls over dead. Just like that.
There’s so much wrong with that scene.
Sonic’s death doesn’t feel earned. There’s no emotional impact to it. There’s no great drama to make you feel anything. It’s just…
It doesn’t even work as shock value. While the ending to Sonic 06 is an obvious deus ex machina where everything is magically reset and everybody is okay, the way Sonic dies is almost basically one, too, because it only happens because the writer said “welp I don’t know where to go with this, so here’s something dramatic and unexpected to get the plot moving again”. It’s like a bad fanfic.
In actuality, I was probably really angry when I saw this scene. The moment I became fed up with Sonic 06 is actually captured perfectly on the internet on a message board forum post:
Re: Sonic The Hedgehog (2k6/Next) Thoughts
« Reply #33 on Nov 16, 2006, 12:00am »
So far: Not bad. Feels… well, I know most reviewers are going to say last gen, and that’s what it is. It feels like the kind of game that could’ve and SHOULD’VE been done on the GC/Xbox/etc. Soleanna reminds me a lot of Delfino Plaza, too. Controls feel a bit smoother [than the demo]. Sonic’s homing attack is different - it shoots you a ways horizontally before gravity takes over.
High speed sections are terrible. Even in the first level (Wave Ocean) they expect you to squeeze through tiny little spots and the collision detection is iffy (I wasn’t anywhere near a palm tree and it still registered a hit). Production values on the cutscenes have defenitely improved. The CGI kind of makes me want a CGI Sonic movie, and the cutscenes for the ingame engine, while not as good as the CGI, are still a step up from Sonic Heroes and the ilk.
Tails likes to commit suicide sometimes. Every now and then you’ll hear he’s accidentally jumped straight into the ocean (marked by a morbidly humorous “Aruuugghhhhhh!”).
Strange bug just now; Tails appeared next to me and prompty laid down and died…and his dead body stays there. He doesn’t get up or respawn or anything. He just lays there. Dead. Presumably forever.
Re: Sonic The Hedgehog (2k6/Next) Thoughts
« Reply #51 on Nov 16, 2006, 2:38am »
The whole thing just feels really unpolished and arbitrary. Soleanna feels TOO big. Streets are absolutely mammoth in their width, but there’s not many people walking around. It feels dead.
The game also suffers from a lot of slowdown issues. And pop-in. And poor control. And a lot of other stuff. Like, Sonic gets “caught” on a lot of little objects. It doesn’t make him stop, but it makes him (and the camera) jitter and kind of wobble when he does it and looks really bad. Some of the stuff you can do is really dumb, too.
For example: I’m in White Acropolis. While you’re there, there’s these spotlights. When you homing attack certain objects in the game, you sort of bounce up and can keep homing attacking. If you played the demo, there’s lots of stuff you could do this to (like the eagle statues).
Now, you can homing attack up the spotlight towers like this, all the way up to the spotlight itself, where you can shatter the glass and turn off the spotlight. I thought that was a nice touch. I stood up on top of this tower and looked around, and I noticed that the giant walls that surround the level didn’t go very high, so I promptly jumped off the top of the tower and thought I could walk around above most of the normal level.
Nope. Sonic clipped right through the wall and fell into a black void, promptly dying.
Re: Sonic The Hedgehog (2k6/Next) Thoughts
« Reply #96 on Nov 16, 2006, 9:16am »
I’m just shocked at what a catastrophic failure this seems to be. The more I play, the worse the game starts to get. There’s just so much wrong with nearly every aspect of the game. Beyond just controls.
There are a couple levels here and there that are okay, but almost every level has something blindingly frusterating about it. Either they force you to play as Tails, or Rouge, or you have to drive one of Shadow’s shitty vehicles, or you have to do a mach speed segment…
And all of it is implemented so shoddily and half-assed it’s almost unfathomable how Sega… could… even comprehend to release it in this state. Part of me almost wonders if they’ll announce some sort of patch in the next couple of days, because I just… I can’t accept this. Not in any way shape or form.
This may be the first and only Sonic game I am actually willing to take back to the store.
I was pissed by the time I wrote that last post. I most likely continued to be pissed when I saw Sonic (both figuratively and literally) die.
But it’s more amusing to say I laughed. Or was it crying? Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell the difference.
That feeling where you think about an ex-lover and your body sort of aches a little bit as old, rusty emotions slowly rumble to life again.
And only three words come to mind
Pioneer 2 (Remix)
Sonic Team vs. misterDNA
Right around the time Phantasy Star Online for the Dreamcast was shutting down, me and my friends decided to pick up and start playing the PC version. This was before Blue Burst, so the only PC version available was a cruddy port of Version 2. The game stored all of its music in WAV format, and since this was a RIP version (pirate speak for “no music, no FMV, smallest file size”), this meant that the game had no background music - just sound effects. Some of my friends were content playing in silence.
I decided I couldn’t let this stand. I dug around trying to find suitable replacements for PSO’s entire soundtrack. Most of it was from videogame soundtracks I already had on my HDD, but for some of them, I went the extra mile, trying to find songs that matched the original as closely as possible.
I stumbled on to this remix of Pioneer 2’s City Music. I trimmed the goofy 70’s porno intro and left just the the song itself.
We ended up playing something like 200 hours of Phantasy Star Online on what is now known as the Schtack server. This song became deeply ingrained in my mind as the Pioneer 2 city music, to the point where hearing the original, unremixed version of this song sounds awkward and wrong.
The problem became that I lost the harddrive the MP3 was originally on. It’s a long story, but basically, a system upgrade gone awry had nearly killed the HDD I was using at the time, meaning every single file was lost. When me and my friends wanted to play Phantasy Star Online Blue Burst, the only version of this song I could find was a 22khz monaural WAV file version I had made for Version 2. I made do the best I could, but it just wasn’t the same. I needed to find the original.
The only clues I had were in the ID3 tags - the artist was simply listed as “Sonic Team vs. misterDNA”. They say that the internet never forgets - well, the internet certainly forgot “misterDNA”. For four years, I searched for any trace of this guy, any other music he might have made, or even anybody else who had heard this version of the song. Nothing. Anywhere. This guy - or at least, his music - dropped off the face of the planet and I was apparently the only one who knew it existed.
Thankfully, through the magic of USB to IDE connectors, I managed to get access back to that old HDD. And all was right with the world.
misterDNA, wherever you are, I still remember you. Thanks for the music.